Had a real nice weekend road tripping and riding my bike. On Saturday, I took the kids to Race at the Lakes (RATL) round #2. We rolled out at 8:15 and arrived at 9am for the 9:45 Cat 4 race. My mom met us there and she watched the kids while I kitted up and took a few laps for a warm up. The RATL series is held in a VERY nice park overlooking a lake. The park has two playgrounds and some hiking trails so the kids had a great time (they slept the whole way home).
Race started at 9:45 and we would do 16 laps of the 1.2 mile course. My team had 8 riders in the Cat 4 race, so we hoped for some good teamwork and results. We ended up in places 1st, 9th and I rolled in at 10th place plus I won the only prime.
After I cleaned up and changed out of the chamois, the kids and I hung out at the playground. We left at around 1pm and got home at around 2:00. We hung out for a while and then by 5pm it was time for the next leg of my trip...Wilkesville, OH by way of Malvern.
Cruised down I-77 amd stopped off at Malvern, OH to do a lap of Gary Snodgrass' 5.5 mile mtb course...aka The Great Trail. Did an easy lap in around 37 minutes, boy is that a lot of climbing, and not much room to pass. Cool course!! Packed up and headed for Lake Hope SP at about 8:00 after stopping for a pasta dinner to go at a local establishment.
Got to Lake Hope around 10:30 and settled into the Element for a nights rest...pretty comfy actually. Threw some foam pads down on the floor and a couple sleeping bags..I guess it pays not to be tall. Did not wake up until 8am. Cleaned up and headed to Wilkesville for a 55 mile road race. I had time to grab a big breakfast, read the local paper and recon in my car the first 25 loop of the course.
I have always heard this race is a classic and I along with 30 or so Cat 4s finally found out why. The race consisted of two different loops about 25+ miles each with lots of rollers and what I could call 3-4 climbs. The climbs were not too long so in some ways the course suited me. I stayed near the front for most of the race and tried to stay out of the wind. By the end of the first 25 mile loop we had lost about 3-4 riders. By the 45 mile mark we lost another 4-6. At about 48 miles there was a longish climb and 3 riders estabished a gap. This ended up being the winning break. I ended up leading out the bunch sprint for 4th and 3 guys got me before the line, so I ended up in 7th, just out of the money. All in all I was very happy that I was able to stay with the main group over the climbs and still have something left for the finish. I'll be back next year for the 70 mile Cat 3/4 race.